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What is the contagion heuristic?
- The process of avoiding contact with people or objects viewed as "contaminated" by previous contact with someone or something viewed as bad
- Rozin et al (1986) recreated disgusting objects with harmless ones and they were still treated as such
What is the modularity of the mind theory?
- Cosmides & Tooby (1992)
- We have mental modules to deal with different aspects of life to make sure we survive and reproduce
- Modules are units of mental processing that evolved in response to selection pressures
- Despite the fact we don't use many of them, they are still there
What do men find attractive in women?
- The retention of juvenile characteristics in sexually mature females
- Large head, small chin
- Big eyes
- Curved cheeks
- In a cross-cultural study, more neotenized female faces were the most attractive to men while less neotenized female faces were the least attractive to men, regardless of the females' actual age Jones (1995)
- Evolutionarily youth entails fertility
What do women find attractive in men?
- Wide jutting chin and forehead
- More testosterone (when they're more fertile)
- Less dominant men more attractive when they're not
- (Little et al, 2008)
What is the cheerleader effect?
- The phenomenon in which people seem more attractive in a group than in isolation
- Hypothesised that:
- The visual system automatically computes ensemble representations of faces presented in a group
- Individual members of the group are biased toward this ensemble average
- Average faces are attractive
- (Walker & Vul, 2013)
Are we attracted to average faces?
- Yes- Debruine et al (2011)
- Adolescents (often particularly females) judged faces with increased averageness, symmetry and femininity to be more attractive than original, asymmetric and masculine faces respectively.
Are we attracted to symmetry?
- Yes- Grammer & Thornhill (1994)
- Generated computer images of men's and women's faces and of composites of the faces of each sex, and then had men and women rate opposite-sex
- Faces for 4 variables (attractive, dominant, sexy, and healthy)
- More symmetrical rated as significantly more attractive
Why are we attracted to facial symmetry?
- Early illnesses and parasites cause non-symmetrical faces and bodies due to withering
- Evolutionarily it suggests that they are more healthy
Does odour predict attractiveness?
- Yes- Riwoski & Grammer (1999)
- Compared ratings of body odour, attractiveness, and measurements of facial and body asymmetry
- Subjects wore a T-shirt for three consecutive nights under controlled conditions.
- Opposite-sex raters judged the odour of the T-shirts and another group evaluated portraits of the subjects for attractiveness.
- Facial asymmetry was examined by distance measurements of portrait photographs.
- The results showed a significant positive correlation between facial attractiveness and sexiness of body odour for female subjects.
- We found positive relationships between body odour and attractiveness and negative ones between smell and body asymmetry for males only if female odour raters were in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle.
Could Lamarck be relevent again?
- Experiences in life can change our genetic expression
- Locusts switching from Grasshoppers due to serotonin spikes
How do our experiences influence our children?
- Byren et al (2001) Kids who grew up in times of surplus after times of famine are different because of the experiences of their grandfathers in times of famine
- Pembrey et al (2006) Prepubescent smokers produce offspring with higher BMI
- Arai et al (2009) Mice that were bred with memory problems then rehabilitated had offspring with improved memory
Is there a gene for homosexuality?
- Sanders et al (2015) studied genome of gay siblings and found evidence for a genetic basis for homosexuality on chromosome 8
- Gay uncle theory: evolutionary advantage to having a gay uncle who can give up resources
What is the 'exotic becomes erotic' theory?
- Ben (1996)
- Gender polarised society (boys play with boys)
- Puberty hits, and there is a misattribution of emotion due to hormone changes
- The nervousness you feel around girls is associated with the random sexual arousal you feel around this time
- You're attracted to those you do not play with
- Gender atypical upbringing leads to homosexuality
- Could help to ward against inbreeding
- Homosexuals report non gender conformity during childhood